What travel expenses can a self employed hairdresser claim?

I have been working in employment as a hairdresser for several years but am about to take the plunge and become self employed and am a little confused as to what travel expenses I will be able to claim.

Some of my work will take place at a couple of salons where I am renting a chair, and some of my work will be me travelling to clients own homes.

Self Employed Hairdresser Travel Expenses

Business travel vs commuting

We are asked quite regularly about travel expenses for the self employed and it is a surprisingly difficult topic to understand.

The key concept is that there is a difference between business travel and home-to-work travel (commuting).

Business travel is an allowable expense for your self employed business, but home to work travel is not.

The main difference between the two is whether the location you are travelling to is regular and predictable – there was a key tax case on this topic – Dr Samadian v HMRC.

The two salons where you are renting a chair are likely to be regular and predictable so would not class as business travel, therefore this travel will not be allowable.

However your travel to clients homes will be allowable as long as they are seen to be irregular.

Other ad-hoc journeys should also be allowable such as travelling to a shop to purchase materials for your business.

If you have any travel that has a mix of both personal and business purpose, if it is possible to accurately work out the business element of the cost, you can claim the portion related to business travel – but if it’s not possible to work out the business element of the cost then you can’t claim any of it.

Please note that for limited companies the travel rules are very different and we have an article on that topic here.